This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.
Man oh man do I not know how to start off this review. I guess I’ll go with the negatives because they are buffered so easily by the positives without a doubt.
The beginning. That was my problem. I understand world building, especially in one like this, it’s not easy. Aveyard did not do a good job at keeping it wholly interesting while building the world around you. It was bad and could be frustrating. Especially with a book where I expected so much from that synopsis. I do not like slow beginnings. I end up just going like
There are a few things with with this though. Michelle did her own review of this book and I knew she had difficulties. She started the book then came back to it months later and finished it in no time. So I had fair warning about the drag-on beginning and braced myself. I feel like that helped me a lot and I just stormed through the first boring chapters into the interesting bits and pieces. (Check out Michelle’s review of this book here).
Thing is, that was my only problem! And that is so beautiful I didn’t put it down to four stars but kept it at 4 1/2 stars because that slow beginning was beyond forgiven.
I must say though this is no doubt a hit or miss book. You can either really love it, or despise it. It depends on what you’ve read I guess. I’ve read a lot of reviews where people compare it to Red Rising, but I haven’t read that yet. So this book remained fantastic to me.
While I’m at it though, I will also say, plot was amazing and original, except for the base of it. In which there is an upper class lording over the rest and someone from below rises into their ranks somehow. Aveyard just managed to create a spin on it that I fell in love with.
To start out I need to talk about the main character of this whole thing Mare Barrow.
This character is walking such a fine line between protagonist and anti-hero and I love it. Aveyard’s creation of her was unique, interesting and not to mention attention-grabbing. I wanted so much from this character and got it, again and again. And her power! Love it and love her use of it. Simple yet interesting, plus deadly in her hands. She had so many great moments throughout the book where she was growing, learning understanding. And the most important quote, one she keeps understanding more and more to the very end of the book:
“Anyone can betray anyone”
That is what hit me. This is where the plot unfurls itself along with Mare. Trapped in a situation that can kill her at any moment she grows and adjusts and she’s not all good either. She’s willing to sacrifice for what she believes needs to happen. And at the same time she’s learning more and more about a people she hates. Leading to this lesson in life, both for her world and ours:
“This world is Silver, but it is also gray. There is no black-and-white.”
And don’t forget,
“I can’t believe I didn’t see him for what he was from the beginning: a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And now I’m the sheep pretending to be a wolf.”
Somehow this quote brings me on over to the romance. Maybe that says something about the romance in this book? Read to find out of course.
But to the point. I was conflicted. There was so much else going on, the romancer actually snuck up on me in a way. I could see characters becoming closer to one another. I knew it was happening, but it was mixed in with everything so well that it was there and I was just along for the ride. Not too many complaints either. Although Aveyard did create a love triangle in a sense. Now that’s a big no-no with me. Love triangles?
In this case though it’s forgiven because of several events that happen that left me mindblown and racing to catch up while I sat there in shock.
Next up, plot twist! I really want to spoil this, really badly. You guys have no idea. Let’s just say I applaud Aveyard above and beyond for the way this story worked out because it killed me inside, destroyed some of my faith in my reader instincts and I loved it. That was what tied this book together from the 4 star to 4 1/2. Maybe not much to others, but in a book that started out boring, it’s significant to me.
All in all, I do recommend this book to readers out there. You’ll need to have patience, you already have my warning like I did from Michelle. But it was worth the read. Aveyard is an incredible author who left me with a lot of amazing quotes and a happy reading buzz. So I leave with one last quote because it hit me hard:
“…I knew the risks, but he was just a pawn,
torn between so many playing an invisible game.”
Until next time,